On the great fear of letting go…
For a few months now, not that I’ve kept good track, I’ve been starting my Saturdays by de-cluttering.
This past Saturday. I made a ton of trips to the dumpster — yes, DUMPSTER. Mostly because I’d run out of boxes to take things out with and also because I was throwing away large, late 1990’s-era photo albums… Ugh. I posted about it on Facebook because I like to get things off my chest and even though I should probably know better than to post anything people could argue about there… Seriously, when did people get so weird in their online interactions? One friend assumed I was throwing away books (which didn’t happen). WTF!?!?
What did I throw away? This is a big one. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe it was just a big one for me. Me. I did that. I made it bigger than it needed to be.
I threw away my mom’s wedding dress.
It’s not my style — LOL! The dress, marriage, weddings, you know — the whole thing. It was almost 50 years old. It smelled bad. It was made of 1970s-style-daisies and quite yellow. It’s from a department store, I think. I felt gross handling it and not just because of the smell. Total Marie Condo moment — as in, “This does not spark joy.” So I threw it out. I’m not going to pay to restore it, I’ll never do anything with it, and I am not moving it again. (I’ve moved a lot). That damn thing has moved with me MY WHOLE LIFE. Like a ghost. Incidentally, a ghost is what my mother is now; she passed in 2004.
I wasn’t just throwing out a wedding dress.
I was throwing out generations of ancestral patterning. I was throwing out the fact that my parents had no great marriage and they certainly didn’t build an admirable life. I am deep in the process of re-parenting myself and am enjoying a rather chaotic period in my life. I’m cranky. I’m over it. Symbols of family-of-origin issues I am working to change just have to go. Get out of my house, out of my life, out of my subconscious. See ya.
Oh, I’d been afraid to throw it out before as though my mother were still alive and bitching at me about it.
In our current culture, I don’t think people save wedding dresses anymore. Especially if the marriage wasn’t so great. But my mother was of the generation in which you stayed and endured no matter what. She’d been raised Catholic and therefore was taught not to divorce (even though both of her siblings divorced — and for good reason). She was of the generation where…I honestly don’t think she ever lived on her own. Not even with roommates. She didn’t have a college degree — yet she was the breadwinner for at least half of her marriage, by my estimate.
So every time I pay my rent, I think of my mom. I run my business and think of my mom. I hit a career milestone and think of my mom. I get to do so many things she didn’t. Throwing out a b.s. wedding dress is just one of them.